One issue that comes up a lot from field technicians who carry out in home repairs etc is about the length of time it takes to complete that work, send the information back to the client and get paid.
The common criticism being that, online portals to feed this information about what was done back to the client just takes too long.
Where your web portal (or other method) of getting this information back is slow, ponderous or just not user friendly what you will find is that the information comeback slowly if at all without prompting or you get it in “lumps” when, as the amount outstanding grows to be significant enough the subcontractor will make the effort to complete the administration.
Couple this with multiple platforms and means to get information back to the subcontractors clients the rule of thumb is that, the harder or more onerous you make the process, the slower and poorer information you will get back.
However if you inflict sanctions, you will often end up alienating or even losing contractors.
This is a conundrum that has plagued the appliance industry and others for some time. Just how do you deal with the problem and is there an answer?
From the perspective of running a service business the thing that matters most is to be able to get the information back as fast as you can and get paid for the work you’ve done.
Anything that hampers this process is a problem.
When that is hard or onerous to do this and especially on lower volume work, the tendency is to put that harder to complete and get paid for work to one side to do “when there’s time” as, it’s not important enough to your business to make the effort.
Of course, it is important to the client but, too hard to put any immediate effort into.
This is why clients often see batches of calls all at once, as the contractor either finds the time to do this administrative work or, when they are forced financially to do so.
But repairers all use different systems, ways of working and this makes it virtually impossible to have a “one size fits all” solution, it has been tried and, doesn’t work.
Over the years we have seen the imposition of one system by a major client, especially with large agencies with contractors forced to use that system for electronic transfers yet, any other work they do (which is not business critical) often relegated to another system or, even systems. This is simply fragmenting the operations of the repair company, leads to errors and resentment of using unfamiliar systems.
In large part, it is just human nature.
The answer for most companies would generally be some sort of web portal being used to complete and update job statuses and, this is a fair solution as these can be used on any computer generally speaking and are easier to maintain, as well as often far cheaper.
Our web portal system is designed to be as easy, quick and painless as possible for contractors to use. Our standard is that a contractor should. for most instances, be able to close down and enter a claim for a job in under three minutes. Often faster.
That’s it. It’s as easy as we can possibly make it to encourage the contractors to use it and not to put them off from getting the vital information back as fast as possible.
The reason we keep it so simple is as, the more layers and complexity that you add, the harder it is for contractors to feed you back the vital information you want and, the less quickly they do so. Creating a bottleneck is obviously not good for the contractor or the client but, it’s not good for the end customers either.
You could have the most complex and technologically advanced web portal in the world but, if you don’t get the information back from your contractors, it isn’t really of any use.
Our job was to make that aspect as simple as possible to makes sure you get as much back, as fast as possible.